The other day a friend made a post about process. His analogy used the old Polaroid picture. When they first came out there was gels and jellies. But essentially it was as “instant” as it could get. The difficulty was that these photos did not necessarily have lasting effect or good quality.
It caused me to think of the alternative. All photography is predicated on light. A flash of light enters a lens and exposes a film. The result is an image has been made. Just as the eyes receive light through a lens(the eye) and place it on the back of the eye socket transmitting it to the brain.
A flash! In a moment life begins. In our spiritual life, a life begins in a flash. Once we were darkness and now we are spiritual beings, lit up with the life of God.
In a dark place this process begins. Hidden away from God and from man, what began as a flash now begins to work in a dark place. In life the film is removed from its canister (The darkness of a tomb. We identify with the death.) and is moved into a tank where a developer is added. The process of our spiritual walk requires the development of the image, the identity that it is revealed. It appears. A stop bath is added.The process of light hidden in darkness and identity revealed is “stopped”. All that can be received of God is given in this moment. You and I are the fullness of Him. We have it “all”. Then a fixer is added. This stops and holds all process. And a wash comes of pure water to remove the process. (On some levels it sounds like baptism.) At this point the result is ready to produce images of its own. Whether the result is done in gold, silver or platinum processes(Precious metals). Some of these images will be “contact images” or direct contact between the resulting negative and the paper while others will be magnified through an enlarger and reproduced.
There is so much that can be seen here. Process often requires periods of darkness. Of quiet. (So does wine.) One of the thoughts my friend pointed out was that to produce what God wants through a person, requires process. Not everyone embraces process. Not everyone likes process. Process can be long, hard or confusing. (And God is not asking your permission!)
Folks, I have rushed process in my life in areas. I regret it. There are things I could have done better. In the lives of others I have seen over exposure and under development in my 25 years here. I have seen the results of rushing a process or skipping a step. Too often we see who we are and we think that “it is time”. We have not been “arrested” by the Lord. Fixed by His discipline and washed by His word.
As a child I did a lot of photography. At one point I had a studio. I have seen the results of good practices. Of professionals. In the craft we often would say “compose in your camera” meaning to not rely on darkroom technique to save your picture. With God though, there is no messed up image, out of focus picture or double image possibility. You get His goodness. And from that goodness all things flow.
I think in the coming days we will see the results of an individual’s hiddenness appearing in our midst. We will wonder from where did they come from. They will not appear in a flash but will be shown humble and servanthood will be their calling. They will stand the test of time. Carry the scars of wars gone by. But the result will be the beauty of the Lord will shine. The picture will declare the goodness of the Lord.
Some are just entering that “dark room” of the Lord and you wonder “will I survive”. Is this even God? My answer to you is yes. Simply yes.
There is a great family photo being brought forth by the Lord in the earth.
The bigger things of life are accomplished by doing many small things faithfully and consistently. Our journeys of faith are taken one step of time. From my friend Darryl Rodman